Endorsement of non-candidate doesn’t affect school board race

The backing of Keith Pappas, who dropped out, created rancor in the Stanwood-Camano School Board race.

Charlotte Murry

Charlotte Murry

STANWOOD — A questionable endorsement for a candidate who wasn’t running didn’t sway the vote in a Stanwood-Camano School Board race.

Early results in Tuesday’s general election showed that Charlotte Murry had been elected to the school board, where she was running against Keith Pappas. She received 74.9% of the vote.

Pappas had dropped out of the race in July because of an illness in his family. Despite that, board president Al Schreiber had been endorsing him. Some parents in the district thought he was trying to sway the election and called for his resignation.

Schreiber stepped down as president during a board meeting on Tuesday afternoon. He will still serve as a board member, though only one meeting remains in his term as a board president. Schreiber was re-elected in November 2017.

Voters were asked to decide on two other contested school board positions in Tuesday’s election. In all, 2,742 ballots were turned in.

Initial reports showed that the incumbents were winning both seats.

Ken Christoferson had 53.53% of the vote against Brett Kinney. Natalie Hagglund was ahead with 53.13% in her race against George Zeigen.

Pappas dropped out in the summer, but it was too late to take his name off the ballot. After that, district voters began to receive messages from Schreiber endorsing Pappas.

Some believe Schreiber was engaging in underhanded tactics. If a person elected to the school board rejects the position, the board is then allowed to choose a replacement.

Later, Pappas said he would still serve if elected to prevent that from happening.

On Tuesday, Hagglund was appointed to serve as board president in Schreiber’s place, and board member Julie Dean was nominated to take over Hagglund’s position as vice president.

Schreiber didn’t say why he stepped down, and hasn’t spoken at all about the allegations.

During public comment at Tuesday’s meeting, a group of parents called for the district to create a committee of district citizens to work with the board.

District parent Melissa O’Neill filed a complaint against Schreiber with the state Public Disclosure Commission on Monday.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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